Oh, you guys.
You are so awesome. Thank you for all of the hugs and good vibes. I love hugs and good vibes!
My last post seemed to resonate with a lot of you.
I know that many people struggle the way I do and I blog about it on purpose because I think it's good for all of us to be reminded that we are not alone. There is still a stigma around depression so I strive to talk about it just as readily and openly as I would talk about having a great day.
Why shouldn't I?
I am not talking about wallowing (although I do have my moments) but acknowledging it. Owning it. And yes, doing what I know I need to do to get through it. And maybe by being myself, I am providing a comfortable and safe place for you to talk about your own experience, to remind yourself what works for you, and to know that you are not alone, just as I am not. I hope so.
Thank you for taking the time to comment, to send me hugs or email or share about your day. I felt comforted and supported reading your words.
I said I would report back on my feel-better-strategy, so here I am.
I did drink a bunch of water and ate lightly, which definitely was necessary.
I gardened all day and even took some pictures to show you:
I am in love with the colors of that iris on the right.
I potted up a bunch of annuals:
It was hot! I love the heat. Heat and sun are good for this delicate hothouse flower. I am talking about me, in case you didn't catch that.
Sweating, working hard- I love it. It works out my physical stress and leaves me wrung out, in a good way.
And working with flowers, a living thing that I am caring for- that's good for my heart, too. The colors, the beauty- food for my eyes.
Getting something done, that sense of accomplishment. Yes. Good.
I spent a few hours painting in the evening, as I said I would. I didn't really work on anything I loved, but I took pleasure in the feeling of smooshing around the paint with the brush, of incising into a wet layer to reveal what was underneath.
This morning, I started a new visual journal.
I spent a while messing around with some gouache:
See my giant five-head?
Note to self:
I am the one who needs to help myself out of the depths. I am the one who chooses what I eat, how much exercise I get, how I spend my time.
I love playing in my journals, freely doodling or writing or painting. It doesn't have to look good, but sometimes it does and that's a nice surprise. It's not about making something pretty or perfect, it's about expressing myself, allowing myself the freedom to experiment and enjoy the process. Sometimes it's a lot of writing to work something out. Sometimes it's writing reminders like the one above. Other times I write quotes or something I hear that strikes a chord. Sometimes I stick down receipts or magazine clippings or cool looking candy wrappers. It doesn't really matter what I do, just that I do it.
After spending an hour or so on my new journal this morning, without even realizing I felt any different, I came downstairs, headed into the front yard and did some cartwheels (ok, round-offs plus. I still can't do cartwheels!), attempted some headstands, even trying a handstand for the first time ! (trying being the operative word)
Out of nowhere, I just felt like doing those things- I didn't even have time to formulate it into a thought, like, "Hey, I think I'll ...." I just walked out the door and started. That was neat.
Then I needed a snack:
Mmmmm. Stilton, grannysmiths, craisins and ginger spread. Oh, yum.
Then later, I headed off to a good friend's bridal shower, which I was actually looking forward to. See, with my circle of friends, it wouldn't be a regular bridal shower with endless opening of gifts. That kind of shower- I'm sorry-I dread. I go to those and I have fun, but I don't look forward to them.
Today's shower was more of a celebration of Jen. A kind of rite of passage to mark her transition into marriage. We are all so thrilled that at 46, Jen has finally found real love, safe love, true love.
We used face paints to paint her arms and legs and face.
There was an offering of joyful dance:
People shared poems they wrote for Jen ( the kind that bring tears to your eyes), some simple gifts, good food.
It was lovely.
I did say there was good food, so my eating lightly didn't last through the day! But I didn't overdo it.
And since I am feeling better, eating half a pint of Ben and Jerry's won't be overdoing either, which I am about to do... right...about....now.